During a Republican fundraiser dinner on Sept. 26, President Donald Trump railed against the new electromagnetic catapult technology on Navy aircraft carriers, The Washington Post reported on Sept. 28.
Trump likened the Navy’s new Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) — a system that uses stored kinetic energy and solid-state electrical power conversion to launch aircraft — to a car’s seat controls.
“It’s like when you get a new car and you have to be a computer genius to fix your seat,” Trump said, according to people who attended the dinner. “The seat’s moving all over the place, it’s unbelievable.”
Trump initially broached the subject in May, in an interview with TIME: “You know the catapult is quite important,” Trump said. “So I said what is this?”
“It sounded bad to me,” Trump continued. “Digital. They have digital. What is digital? And it’s very complicated, you have to be Albert Einstein to figure it out.”
Despite Trump’s suggestion that the Navy should use an outdated steam-based catapult system to launch its aircraft, the Navy decided to equip its state-of-the-art aircraft Ford-class aircraft carrier with the EMALS.
Compared to its steam-based counterpart, the EMALS catapult system would take up less space, speed up an aircraft’s launch, and lower maintenance costs, according to Breaking Defense.
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